Regional customs and habits

Customs of Honduras

Marriage and Family

Common-law marriages are generally accepted, and many people never officially marry. Single-parent families are common. Many young, single mothers live with their parents.

Members of the extended family, including grandparents and other relatives, often occupy the same household. The father is respected as the head of the household, but the mother often has the greatest responsibility and influence in everyday family life. Machismo is a common attitude in Honduras; it reflects a male-dominated society. Women, however, now make up 47 percent (2005) of the labor force.

Customs of Hungary

Marriage and Family

Most people wait until they have completed their education or are working before they marry. Newlyweds in urban areas tend to be older than those in rural areas. Traditional weddings were very large three-day affairs, but these are rare today. Still, the ceremony is often followed by an elaborate dinner. Adult children often live with their parents at least until marriage; due to a shortage of housing, some young couples continue to live with their parents for the first few years of marriage.

Customs of Indonesia

Marriage and Family

Women in rural areas are often married by the time they are 20 years old. Although people throughout the country have more freedom to choose their own marriage partners than they had in the past, rural families are generally more involved than urban families are in the choice of their children's spouses, and men generally have somewhat more freedom in choosing their spouses than women have. Engagement is more than an agreement between the future bride and groom; it binds the two families. Members of the extended family often live under the same roof or near one another. Older people are shown special respect.

Customs of Iceland

Marriage and Family

The government recognizes common-law marriage, and many couples choose to live together at least initially without formal marriage. Families in Iceland tend to be larger than those in Scandinavia. Because the country is small, personal ties are important and family relations play an important role. Although the practice has died out among the younger generation, traditionally one would ask, upon meeting someone for the first time, “Who are your people?” This is an attempt to place a person in a family or professional level. The initial response is to name one’s parents. If they are not recognized, the parents’ professions might be named or the grandparents are named.

Customs of Iran

Marriage and Family

Children usually live with their parents until they marry, regardless of their age. Women marry between the ages of 16 and 25; men marry somewhat later because of military service or because they are not yet earning enough money to start a family. Most marriages are arranged by families. In the past, this meant that many young females married their cousins. More liberal attitudes have emerged in some areas regarding education, work, and freedom in selecting marriage partners. Weddings are occasions for elaborate celebrations. It is legal for a man to have up to four wives if he can provide for each equally; most men, however, choose to have only one wife. Divorce is rare.